The IBEW Has Spent 120 Years Building a Better Canada

Photo courtesy of IBEW Canada 

When it comes to unions, there are few who can boast a longer presence in Canada than the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The IBEW has been around since 1899. Today, it represents 67,000 members working in construction, utility, manufacturing, government, telecommunications and railroad sectors.

Kate Walsh is the strategic coordinator for NextGen with the IBEW. It is an initiative that started a few years ago to address the need to better educate and engage younger members within the union.

“Labour history doesn’t seem to be taught in schools like it used to be so understanding where things like the eight-hour work day, pension plans, safety legislation and benefits came from is an important part of our history. These wins came as a result of the efforts of the labour movement and so understanding this, and how unions played a role in developing the social fabric of Canada – and continue to do so – is a huge part of NextGen,” said Walsh.

NextGen members recently had a one- day conference in conjunction with the IBEW All Canada Progress Meeting in Ottawa. At this annual Conference, members have the opportunity to share and discuss issues and successes that occur at the Local Union level and learn from their peers across the country.

International Vice President Bill Daniels, the leader of the IBEW in Canada said the union has a history to be proud of, and together with other unions across the country, has done a lot to make Canada a better place in which to live and work.

Daniels explains that, “the IBEW has been a part of building the middle class in Canada for over 120 years. Today, we continue to bargain for better working conditions for our members to improve their lives and the lives of their families while giving back and building stronger communities right across this country”.

To learn more about the IBEW Canada, go to